Report: Lakers near deal to sign Brandon Bass, may trade Nick Young


The Lakers are not going in the tank again, not in what could well be Kobe Bryant’s final season.

They struck out on big-name free agents but are now settling in on a smart strategy (maybe one they should have done from the start) of getting quality players to build the kind of roster base that elite free agents look at and think they could win with. They drafted D’Angelo Russell to go with Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, then they have gotten Lou Williams and Roy Hibbert.

The latest Laker addition recent Celtics big man Brandon Bass, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

The financial terms of Bass’ deal are not yet finalized. He could get the room exception or they may clear some cap space for him.

Bass is the definition of solid NBA big man. He averaged 10.6 points and almost five rebounds a game, shooting 50.5 percent He had a PER of 16.3. He will play hard for them.

For the Lakers to sign Williams and Hibbert is going to take clearing out some cap space, which could mean Nick Young will be on the move.

The Lakers have tested the trade market for Young for a while, and it’s a smart move now — with Kobe and Williams and Young, all the Lakers jumpers would be contested.

Report: Lakers sign Lou Williams to three-year, $21 million contract


One day after reportedly trading for Roy Hibbert, the Lakers made their second move of free agency, signing reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams to a three-year, $21 million deal. RealGM’s Shams Charania reported the signing, and Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the length and value of the deal:

There has to be another move coming. The only way the Lakers have the cap room to sign Williams to this deal is by shedding salary, either in the Hibbert deal or a sign-and-trade with the Raptors for Williams. The most likely candidate to be moved is Nick Young, if anyone will take his contract.

The Williams fit doesn’t make a lot of sense, either. The Lakers just drafted another scoring guard, D’Angelo Russell, with the No. 2 pick, and Williams is a high-volume scorer. Between Russell, Williams, Young (if he stays), Jordan Clarkson and a theoretically healthy Kobe Bryant, that’s a lot of guards and not a lot of minutes to divide up. It will be interesting to see how this works out.

DeMarre Carroll says Hawks told him they were choosing between keeping him and Paul Millsap


One of the biggest free agents to change teams this summer was DeMarre Carroll, who left the 60-win Hawks to sign a four-year, $60 million deal with the Raptors. Atlanta made a trade on July 1 for Spurs center Tiago Splitter and then gave Paul Millsap a three-year max deal to stay, which made it difficult for them to retain Carroll, arguably their most important defender, at market rate. Carroll talked about the process in an interview on Bleacher Report Radio on Sunday:

Losing Carroll is a huge blow for the Hawks — he was their best perimeter defender. He adds a lot of versatility to a Raptors team that has lost Amir Johnson and is still deciding on bringing back Lou Williams. He can play both forward positions and guard the other team’s best player.

Who is left on the board after wild first day of NBA free agency?


That was insane.

NBA teams agreed to $1.3 billion in contract money in the first 24 hours of free agency, in what was as hectic a first day as anyone can recall. The CBA worked as the owners intended — small market teams did just as well (actually, much better) than the big markets and most free agents took the extra money and security their current teams could offer. Guys stayed home (19 out of 26 guys did not change teams of the early signings).

So who is left on the board as we head into Day 2? Here are the biggest names out there still.

LeBron James — Like he’s leaving Cleveland. He’s a free agent in name only.

Marc Gasol — He also is out there in name only, the Grizzlies will have a deal with him by the end of the day. It’s just that the deal is being worked out in Spain, in between tapas and siestas, so it’s moving at a different pace.

LaMarcus Aldridge — He has a couple more meetings on Thursday, including with the Knicks and Raptors, before sitting down and figuring out where he wants to play next. The Spurs remain the front-runners, they impressed him with their pitch, plus he gets to go home to Texas and step straight on to a contender. However, Portland, Phoenix and everyone but the Lakers are still holding out hope.

DeAndre Jordan — The athletic center has had a few meetings, and it is thought to be a 50/50 decision between the Mavericks and Clippers. In Dallas he gets to go home to Texas and be a bigger part of the offense; but the Clippers offer more money, he likes living in Los Angeles and playing for Doc Rivers, plus they are legit title contenders.

Greg Monroe — Maybe the most open name on the board. The young center played for relative peanuts last season to get this moment, and the Knicks and Lakers are both very interested. However, both Portland and Milwaukee have made strong impressions and are in the mix. He’s going to get a max, he just has to decide where he wants to play.

Dwyane Wade — He and the Miami Heat need each other, and they are reportedly closing in on a deal. There isn’t much of a market outside Miami for his skills, unless he wants to take less money than he felt insulted by when the Heat offered it.

Robin Lopez — He has had interest from a number of teams, but for the Knicks and Bucks the veteran big man is kind of Plan B after Monroe. Lopez is going to get paid then bring solid defense and a hatred of mascots to wherever he chooses.

Wesley Matthews — He tore his Achilles last season and, while reportedly ahead of schedule on rehab, teams can’t expect him to be right for at least half if not all of this next season. That said, he has shown zero interest in taking a discount — he wants $15 million per year or more. Dallas is considered the front-runner for maybe the best “3 and D” guy in the league (because he can do more than just that), but other teams such as the Kings are interested.

Tobias Harris — With Orlando striking out on Paul Millsap (who stayed in Atlanta) it may take a max offer to get the Magic not to match (Harris is a restricted free agent). The Pistons, Lakers, Knicks and others have reportedly been interested, but will any of them put that much money on the table for the young forward?

Monta Ellis — The Pacers meet with Ellis on Thursday, and that may be a match. The Pacers need shot creation and playmaking, plus they have the money to pay. The Kings also are said to be interested, and more may come calling.

Other names on the board: Lou Williams, Rodney Stuckey, Jared Dudley, Ed Davis, Kosta Koufos and Patrick Beverley (he’s restricted, the Rockets can match any offer).

Jonas Jerebko re-signing with Celtics for two years, $10 million


The Celtics’ big move has been signing Amir Johnson.

Now, they’re moving onto retention.

They’d probably like to bring back restricted free agent Jae Crowder. First, Jonas Jerebko.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Jerebko played well for the Celtics after they acquired him in a midseason trade with the Pistons. He’s an energy forward with 3-point range, and Brad Stevens used him well. That’s a big reason Jerebko is getting this healthy payday.

As Boston looks to make splashier moves going forward, Stevens should be a major selling point.

For now, the Celtics should get the 28-year-old Jerebko through his prime on a reasonable deal. Then, they can take it from there.